Casey Shannon Studio Image

The Sound of One Hand: Reaching Beyond the limits of Traditional Ink Painting

Friday, April 12, 2013

Online Artists Beware!

Scams are getting 'really good' and targeting individual artists!

'Be Here Now' is the title of this sumi-e that I created and have for sale on my personal art website. The phrase 'Be Here Now' is definitely what all artists need to be right now! Stay present and watch out. I experienced what could have been a very bad scam trying to gain my personal information and it was concerning this image. Therefore I share the image and story with you all in hopes of maybe being helpful to my fellow artists.

I have had the privilege to sell many paintings over the years on my site via PayPal with no problem to complete strangers for various prices upwards of $500. I received this inquiry email from a Tyler Samplaski about a week ago and from a gmail account. I have bolded the first suspicious statements in this first email.

Here is the first email:

"Good day, hope you are good. Was going through your website and saw some of your artwork I really like. You are doing a great job. I would like to make the purchase of the artwork in subject field above (it was Be Here Now) if it is still available..i would also like to know what inspired the artwork. kindly get back to me asap. Thanks and God bless,"
The wording was a bit suspicious but I decided to answer his email and see what he replied as some of the email was very plausible. I get asked a lot for the inspiration behind a piece of art.
Here is my email answer:
Hello Tyler,

Thank you for emailing me and your interest in my artwork.

Yes, "Be Here Now" is available for purchase. It is not currently framed but if you'll give me a couple days, I will mat and frame it for you. The frame would be a black wood museum frame and wired for hanging. It would be matted in an ivory mat that has a black core, which creates and elegant thin black line around the painting image. The frames are finished with acrylic glazing. (Safer for shipping than glass.) The finished painting would be 11 x 11. The painting would be shipped to you via UPS with tracking. I would need your address details.

About the inspiration for the work:
The painting is based on the Japanese proverb: 'Now is a gift, that's why they call it the present'. According to oneness with life, "Realize deeply that the present moment is all that you ever have. Make the Now the primary focus of your life."

If you are interested in this work, I can send you a PayPal invoice for purchase through PayPal. I would need your PayPal email if different from your email here. Again, thank you for your interest.

Best, Casey
Director North American Branch
International Chinese Calligraphy Art and Ink Painting Society
国際中国書法国画家協会アメリカ支部:Ms. Casey Shannon アメリカ現代水墨画家
 Here is his answer!
Suspicious wording in BOLD
"Dear Casey,

Thanks for the message, Hope  you are doing  great. My wife actually found your website and asked me to view your artwork and contact you for the purchase but unfortunately,  I am on voyage to Philippines at the moment, I would have come to purchase the piece personally but wont be back for another couple of weeks, as I am a civil marine engineer and due to the nature of my work, visiting of website are restricted, but i squeezed out time to check this advert and send you an email regarding it:-). I must tell you I am very much interested in the immediate purchase.  I'm okay with the price, I think it worth it anyway.

If you'd like to know, I'm relocating to the Philippines soon and I'm trying to gather some good stuff to furnish my new abode. I am buying yours (quickly before someone else grabs it) So, I'll arrange to send you payment ASAP.

However, you don't have to worry about shipment, my shipper will handle it.I'll notify my shipper who's helping me move my stuff to get set for the pickup of the piece from your place as I MIGHT be delayed depending on how things goes.

PS: In the mean time, you could forward me your full name (you want the check payable to) cell phone no. and contact address so I can fedex a check to you ASAP"

So there you have it. His interest was not in my work but in my personal details and who knows what he would have done with that information. FedEx a check? No shipment? Pick up instead? Not allowed to use the Internet? Moving to the Philippines? English not very good?  Snap up my work?
Please! I don't think so!
Anyway you be the judge. I only post this information so you can be aware of what the scam artists are up to. As I said, stay present and aware!
Director of North America Branch ~ ICCPS
International Chinese Calligraphy and Ink Painting Society

国際中国書法国画家協会アメリカ支部:Ms. Casey Shannon アメリカ現代水墨画家

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